Mint.com Expands Money Management Services

Online financial management provider Mint.com has introduced new enhanced features to their product line. The new features include “Budgeting and Budget Alerts”. Mint users can set budgets in any spending category, and track spending versus that budget throughout the month. If requested, users can receive email or text message alerts if they exceed their target and “Account Naming and Customized Views” to view spending in business accounts separately from spending in personal accounts, or view individual accounts separately from joint accounts. In addition, bank and credit card accounts can now be renamed by users. Taken together, these enhancements enable users to create a more customized and intuitive view of their spending. Mint.com provides an automatic, secure, and nearly instantaneous snapshot of a person’s spending, organizing over $3.5 billion in user transactions, and identifying over $55 million in savings opportunities.

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Shareholder Lawsuits Against VeriFone Begin

CA-based Girard Gibbs has become the first securities litigation specialist to jump on VeriFone’s accounting problems that were announced this week. Girard Gibbs filed the lawsuit, which seeks class action status, on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of VeriFone between March 1, 2007 and November 30, 2007. The lawsuit alleges that VeriFone and certain of its present and former officers violated the “Securities Exchange Act of 1934.” VeriFone this week announced it was restating its financial statements for the first three fiscal quarters of 2007. VeriFone’s share price fell by 45% on nearly 35 times its average trading volume. VeriFone said pre-tax income for the first nine months of this year is likely to be nearly $30 million lower than what was previously reported. The restatement is principally due to errors in accounting related to the valuation of in-transit inventory and allocation of manufacturing and distribution overhead to inventory. VeriFone’s Board of Directors have also decided to delay its fourth quarter earnings report, due out this week, pending completion of the assessment of the errors and the restatements. (CF Library 12/4/07)

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Canada Leads in Government ePayments Adoption

Canada has emerged as the world’s leading nation for government electronic payments because of the government’s comprehensive electronic administration procedures. The finding comes from VISA’s “Government ePayments Adoption Ranking” that measures the extent to which governments in 43 countries provide key payment services on electronic platforms. The “GEAR” study was underwritten by VISA and conducted independently by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The rankings show that Canada is followed in order by the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, Sweden, Australia, South Korea, France, Hong Kong and Singapore. VISA says one of the interesting findings in the study is that developing countries, notably Turkey, China and Brazil, have overcome the limitation of their infrastructures and introduced effective electronic payment systems.

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P2P Lending to Grow at a 33% CAGR in U.S.

A new study shows that person-to-person lending is growing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 30%. Consumers struggling with credit card debt whom are unable to qualify for lower interest bank loans due to a low credit score are driving the explosive growth. The report from Javelin Strategy & Research predicts that P2P lending will likely grow from $38 billion to $159 billion by 2012, or at a 33% CAGR. The main consumer groups turning to P2P are young adults and higher income groups. Both consumers age 25-34 and those with incomes over $150K are equally willing to offer or accept person-to-person loans. About 44% of consumers say they’re likely to use P2P lending to pay off their credit card balances. Among consumers age 25-34, 9% are likely and 26% are interested in making person-to-person loans; 18% are likely to use P2P lending to pay off a credit card balance, 36% are interested. Javelin analysts says they do not recognize it as an immediate threat to the U.S. banking industry. However, consumer awareness continues to build as services like VirginMoney.com and Prosper.com increase their presence and Zopa.com enters the U.S. market. According to the report, 28% of consumers are either using or are aware of person-to-person lending websites.

P2P LENDING
2007: $38 billion
2008: $51 billion
2009: $68 billion
2010: $90 billion
2011: $119 billion
2012: $159 billion
Source: Javelin Strategy & Research

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eCommLink to Process Discover eGift Cards

Prepaid card solution provider eCommLink has entered into an agreement with Discover Financial Services. eCommLink will provide the payment processing for the virtual prepaid Discover eGift Card. eCommLink assisted in the development of the eGift Card website and is partnering with Discover Card on other marketing and promotions, including an SMS text messaging mobile solution that allows eGift Card purchasers to opt-in to receive a text message notifying them when the recipient receives the gift. eCommLink’s system will also facilitate an instant, personalized email to eGift Card recipients alerting them of their gift and giving them access to their unique online eGift Card that can be printed or saved. eCommLink provides prepaid debit card processing solutions for numerous financial institutions across the United States.

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Card Lab Offers Company Gift Cards with Logos

Dallas-based Card Lab Inc. has expanded its personalized gift card programs to the corporate giving level. Under the new GiftCardLab.com program, commercial firms can purchase and design a prepaid VISA debit/gift card with their company logos. Card Lab teamed up with the U.K.’s Serverside Group and Dallas-based PAYjr for the personalized card program. The card is issued by SD-based Marshall Bank. The Company launched its first VISA card on November 15th. TX-based Archstone Consulting’s “2007 Holiday Gift Card Survey” found that gift card purchases are expected to increase 25% over 2006 to $35 billion. (CF Library 10/29/07; 11/19/07)

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Archway Marketing Service Expands in NC/ND

Marketing fulfillment agency Archway Marketing Services has opened an office in North Carolina and took over on-site management of North American agreement processing and customer support for Microsoft Dynamics in North Dakota. Archway Marketing Services provides industry leading business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies with marketing fulfillment and business performance services.

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N-VIA & SCOTIABANK PERU

Scotiabank Peru has partnered with N-Via USA to provide customers
with free mobile payment services. The services offered with the new
service includes mobile payments and person to person transfers using cell
phones text messaging for sending/receiving from any cell phone. Transfers
are available for pick-up at any of the 400 Scotiabank Peru branches and
Cajeros Express points of services. Peru’s remittance industry sees
movement of over 2.86 billion dollars per year and with this new
agreement,
Scotiabank Peru and N-Via USA provide for an increase in productivity
throughout the country for these consumers. Scotiabank currently employs
60,000, serving 12 million customers in over 50 countries, while N-Via
U.S.A.
Inc. was established in 2005 to offer global money transfer services
using a
range of different methods.

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Equity Commerce Picks ExaDigm Mobile Terminal

Payment processor Equity Commerce has selected ExaDigm’s “XD2000 Mobile Payment Solution” as its mobile wireless point-of-sale terminal of choice. The XD2000 has enabled Equity Commerce to expand into a range of new markets where card-based payment acceptance was traditionally not an option. Through its modular design ensuring terminal hardware is easily upgradeable avoiding redundancy due to changes in technology; the ability to change wireless connectivity between GDMA, GSM and WiFi with a simple swap of a modem; the fact the PC-based operating system allows for application updates in hours not months; and advanced security features offering maximum protection to merchants and cardholders alike.ExaDigm is t a provider of modular IP-based wired and wireless point-of-sale (POS) terminal solutions.

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CHRYSLER MASTERCARDS

Ottawa-based MBNA Canada Bank and Chrysler Financial have teamed to
launch three co-branded credit cards. The new “Chrysler Rewards
MasterCard”, “Jeep Rewards MasterCard” and the “Dodge Rewards
MasterCard” enables consumers to earn points for card purchases and
redeem them toward the purchase price or lease price of a new or
pre-owned Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle or related products and
services. Cardholders receive one “Reward Point” for every $1
in net retail and earn five “Reward Points” for every $1 in net retail
purchase made at authorized Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers.
Additionally, cardholders receive 2,500 “Bonus Rewards Points” after the
first purchase. Points are redeemable for gift certificates and
vouchers. MBNA is the second largest MasterCard credit card issuer in
Canada.

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eLayaway.com Volume Soars 5000% in 2007

FL-based eLayaway.com announced today that its total gross dollar transactions increased 5,176% Year-to-Date (YTD) and new shopper’s registrations rates increased 1,511% YTD during “Cyber Week”. elayaway.com is similar to traditional layaway allowing shoppers to buy a product online and pay for it in regular automatic installments with automatic clearing house (ACH) processing by HSBC and delivery upon full payment. eLayaway.com does not charge per-sale transaction fees to merchants.

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